Chemo and Weight Gain

I seem to have a constant battle with my weight. Before I got pregnant with Jake, I was a lovely size 10. Then I got pregnant, gave birth, recovered from giving birth, joined a gym to get rid of the baby weight, and then I got cancer.

I (like most people) thought that by having to go through chemotherapy, I would lose weight. I thought that at least there would be that silver lining. No. It would appear that chemo doesn’t have any silver lining. In fact, I gained weight.

Once chemo was over, I gave my body a few months to recover, then I rejoined the gym. I also joined Slimming World. And I’ve lost a grand total of 12.5 pounds, which is pathetic. I joined Slimming World before and did really well. I lost 2 stone in around 5 months, so I thought I could do it again. Nope.

So, I decided to look into it a bit further. I looked at a forum I’m part of, and found that loads of other people that have had the same chemo as me, also have trouble shifting the weight.

Things I have found out are:

  • More younger patients (15-35) gain weight than the older ones (55+).
  • Chemo kills so many cells throughout our bodies. Therefore our metabolism has to work overtime to replenish them. Once chemo ends and those cells are no longer dying off, our metabolism hits a wall, hence we gain weight.
  • A reason may be because of the steroids taken during treatment. At one time, it was believed that once the steroids stop,  your weight gain and desire to eat so much just goes away. Now, it’s thought that you have been on the steroids so long that your body still feels it absolutely must eat!
  • It could also be due to hormones  (periods stopping during chemo etc) and that once everything gets back in line metabolism should pick up

So this did make me feel a bit better about it, and it helped me understand why i’m not getting big losses every week, but I know the reasons. People who see me when I’m walking down the street don’t, they just think I’ve let myself go. I am trying, and I will get the weight off, it might just take me longer than it takes most people.

The informational content of this article is intended to convey general educational
information and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice



4 responses to “Chemo and Weight Gain

  • marketingtomilk

    Bastard Cancer.
    No single lining in that bastard cloud.
    sorry for the swearing.


  • Dennis Pyritz, RN

    I just found your blog. As a fellow cancer survivor, my thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Also…Great Blog! You are a credit to the cancer blogging community. I have added you to my blogroll, “Cancer Blogs Lists” with over 1400 other personal cancer blogs at, a cancer networking site featuring a cancer book club, guest blogs, cancer resources, reviews and more.
    If you have not visited before or recently, please stop by. If you agree that the site is a worthwhile resource for those affected by cancer, please consider adding Being Cancer Network to your own blogroll.
    Now that you are listed, you can expect to gain a wider audience for your thoughts and experiences. Being Cancer Network is a place to share and communicate.

    Take care, Dennis (

  • Jayne

    Me too Roz! I had the same experience have even run 8 half marathons, the London marathon, been to slimmers world, weight watchers and I still cant lose it. I didnt even have weight loss as a symptom. Bit of a bummer – But hey, I’m still here. Good luck with the dieting, 12lbs is bloody good going if you ask me and I’m sure you can achieve anything you set your mind to! 🙂

  • fenngirl

    I am so with you on this one! Am a stone heavier than pre-cancer and it just won’t go. I managed to lose some but it is such a slow process.

    I got rollerboots last year to try and shift the chunk and the first time I went out on them, I fell over and fractured my skull! Am back on them now though and hoping for good results!

    I hope you manage to get where you’d like to be. It makes such a difference even after all the cancer shit.


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